Matt Hancock calls out Susanna Reid for ‘untrue’ claims in GMB interview

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock interrupted his Good Morning Britain interview on Tuesday, to call out host Susanna Reid.

After she commented on the government backlash after the quick spread of the Delta coronavirus variant in the UK, he suggested her claims were untrue.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and government ministers have been accused of not acting quickly enough, in placing India on the red list.

They were said to have been told on April 1 that there was a variant of concern from India, with the Delta variant now the dominant strain in the UK, and it is believed to be behind the recent huge soar in cases.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock interrupted his Good Morning Britain interview on Tuesday, to call out host Susanna Reid
(Image: ITV)

India was not placed on the red list until April 23, with the Delta strain already being in the UK by this point and cases rising rapidly – while it apparently wasn't identified as a strain or one of concern until April 28, after the country was added to the list.

Hancock repeated this on GMB on Tuesday by saying the Delta variant only became a concern after this date, and that they had already acted before this.

Denying they waited until it was too late to place India on the red list, Hancock suggested he and the government acted correctly and were not to blame for the spread – after being accused of acting too slowly.

Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna Reid and Adil Ray asked the Health Secretary Matt Hancock to specify what he claimed to be false accusations
(Image: ITV)

Hancock said on GMB on Tuesday that the Delta variant only became a concern after they had acted
(Image: ITV)

Susanna then said the fact of the matter was that the government weren't cautious enough over India despite the concern, and the images showing the country's own deadly coronavirus battle.

She accused them of acting too late, and said politics "interrupted" the action taken after Johnson was meant to be making a trip to India on April 19, despite the reported concern weeks earlier.

But as she moved the interview on to another area of concern, Hancock wasn't happy and took the conversation back to the previous topic.

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He told her he "couldn't let her get away with" reading out "untrue" claims before changing the subject.

Hancock said: "So I will answer that in a minute but I can’t let you get away with just reading out a load of stuff that is untrue, and then turning to a different subject."

Susanna interjected: "Which bit is untrue," with him quickly firing back at her for not letting him finish.

He bluntly replied: "That’s what I'm going to address if you’ll allow me to finish, exactly…"

Hancock added: "It is simply not true to say we knew about this as a problem variant before acting. We acted before we were advised it was a variant of concern."

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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